It’s Thanksgiving Week, and that means most of us Americans will start thinking about how much weight we’ll gain and how much money we’ll end up spending on Black Friday, especially if we have children clamoring for an iPhone, iPod or iPad.
If you, like many other parents, are planning on buying your kids an iDevice this Christmas, you should know that your kids will need an iTunes account to use with their new device. Presumably, you’ll want to control how much they can spend buying apps. So you’ll be happy to know you can set up an iTunes account without a credit card. Your kid will be able to download a plethora of free apps and you’ll be able to give them gift cards to use to buy paid ones. This will let you control how much they spend, which is a lot better than giving them carte blanche access to your line of credit.
The first thing you need to do is open iTunes. If you are logged into an iTunes account you must go to the Store menu and select Sign Out. This will allow you to create a completely new account.
Select the iTunes Store on the left side of the iTunes window, and if you need to, select the country using the flag icon at the bottom right hand side. Once you’ve entered the correct iTunes Store for your region, click on the App Store using the navigation bar at the top of the iTunes window.
Now you’ll need to apply a bit of secret sauce — you must download and install any free app from the App Store. The easiest way to do this is to use the Top Free Chart. Find an app, select it, the click Free App to download and install it. This will trigger the free iTunes account setup so when this happens select “Create New Account. ”
You’ll go through the motions of setting up the account accepting the iTunes Terms and Conditions, entering an email address, selecting a password, setting up a security question and entering your date of birth. You’ll eventually come to a point where you are asked to select the payment option. Select “None” and answer any more questions.
Finally, you’ll be asked to verify the account you just set up by answering an email sent to the address you entered above. Once you’ve clicked the verification link in that email, your account will be activated and iTunes will ask you to log in.
You now have an account setup with full access to all the free apps you can carry out of the iTunes App Store. If you want to buy any paid apps you’ll either need to change the payment method or apply credit from a gift card to the account. The best thing about this is that you won’t have to be worried about your kids spending all your hard earned cash on the likes of Angry Birds, etc.
Bonus: If you’ve purchased an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch you can perform these same steps on any of these devices to set up the account. You don’t need a computer. Afterwards you should load the device with some nice free apps the kids can play with on Christmas day.